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Energy Week: Moving on from Energy Submission

This was Energy Week for the White House. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt all gave briefings and speeches during the week laying out the administration’s strategy for “global energy dominance.” And on Thursday, 29th June, President Donald J. Trump gave a speech at the Department of Energy in which he said that “our country is blessed with extraordinary energy abundance,” which will create millions of jobs, make the U.S. the world’s leading energy exporter, and give the U.S. economy an advantage in energy-intensive industries.

The President went on to say that his administration was working to undo the regulatory obstacles to energy production and use created by the Obama Administration. He announced that he would reverse the Obama restrictions on financing coal-fired power plants in other countries through the World Bank and other international institutions and that large offshore areas would be opened to oil and gas exploration.

Ben Geman in Axios Generate reported that Energy Secretary Rick Perry made some interesting remarks at the DOE event where Trump spoke. In the debate over the Paris Climate Treaty, Perry sided with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and said that the United States should remain in the treaty and try to negotiate a better deal. President Trump wisely ignored that advice and announced on June 1st that the U. S. would withdraw from Paris. Geman reports that, “In his remarks onstage, Perry suggested that expanded U.S. energy exports to Europe are more important to foreign leaders than Paris, casting the benefits of those energy relations as more weighty in the international arena than the fallout from leaving the climate deal.”

When Perry attended the G-7 meeting of energy ministers earlier this year, the other energy ministers pressured him to stay in Paris. It was a different story when these same energy ministers met individually with Perry. Geman quotes Perry: “Then we would go into our bilats [bilateral meetings] and they would go ‘How about some of that LNG you've got, How do we buy your LNG, How do we buy your coal?’ And it was really interesting. It was a political issue for them; this whole Paris thing is a public relations, political issue for them.” It’s interesting that he didn’t understand that before he advised the President to stay in Paris.